April 24, 2009
This is going to be a good week, with three major health milestones for me.
In two days, I run my first 5K, the George Washington Parkway Classic. I’m trying not think about how early I will need to get up. Instead, I’m thinking how I’m going to keep running, for just about 35 minutes, an okay pace, and then I’ll have done it. That’s it, right?
This all started when one of my coworkers asked who would be interested in training for a 5K or 10 miler for this upcoming race. Within a couple weeks, our combined groups were some 15 strong. Cheryl, the mastermind behind the running groups, took over the schedule for the 10 miler training. I suggested the Couch to 5K that Allen and I had tried a few years ago. (During that training, I was completely derailed by strep. This time I’ve had strep twice in the 7 weeks I’ve been running, and I’m still going.) The 5K training became a run/walk group. We started running just 60 seconds at a time, alternating with walking. Last week, I ran 3 miles on the treadmill on Wednesday, and then 3 miles outside on Friday. I’ll admit it – I cried a little after I finished that.
Sunday is the big day. I’ve been under the weather this week (see Exhibit C) and haven’t run at all, but I plan on getting limber with a short run tomorrow and then resting and drinking plenty of water. And then – watch me go!
I’ll keep this one short because it’s not just toot my own horn day here. (But maybe it is.) My second health milestone this week is that I expect to end April with a 25 pound loss since January 1. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers fairly diligently, and it has been rewarding me with a lost pants size and dropping pounds. The most satisfying and revolting part of this process has been buying meat at the supermarket and mentally calculating how many tenderloins I have lost.
This health milestone is more of a “first,” and it’s a mixed bag. Would you believe that I have strep throat again? If you check out my last post about strep throat (er, my last post period), please do note the date. When I started recognizing the symptoms on Monday, I was incredulous that I could have strep throat twice within a month. And it’s not that it never went away; the antibiotics seemed to work last time. Mercifully, this case was mild – the advantage being that it wasn’t as painful but the disadvantage being that I had to wait for a throat culture to go to the lab and back and thus not get antibiotics until Thursday. I’m on them now though, and I’m resting up for that race on Sunday. So, along with my other health milestones, I chalk up two cases of strep within a month’s time, but that also means two confirmed positive test results to show the ear-nose-throat specialist so I can be tonsil free in 2009!
Now, off to bed, and no more electronics for the night because I’m trying to get better sleep…but that’s a health story for another day.
January 17, 2009
When we saw the first state trooper on the side of the railroad tracks, we thought it was a little strange. Shortly after that, we saw a second one and started to think about it. By the time we saw the third state trooper, the pieces fell in place.
“Maybe it’s for Obama’s train.” I said.
Right on cue, a short Amtrak train ambled past, patriotic valances draped over the end of the caboose. Allen and I whooped.
Moments later, we passed the Wilmington train station, where a small crowd was filing over a pedestrian bridge, leaving Obama’s whistle stop where he’d picked up Biden. We had only been a few minutes behind seeing both families.
We were on the road to Philadelphia, not to follow Lincoln’s journey to Washington like Obama, but to pick up Steven and Brandi from the airport there, so that they too could join the inaugural festivities in DC. Passing Obama’s train was a fitting start to the long weekend.
A few hours after our celebrity train sighting, we huddled outside in the freezing Philadelphia air theorizing about the weekend – the crowds, crush conditions in the Metro, how we’d dress ourselves to be better prepared for the weather – and waiting in line to tour Independence Hall. After only about half an hour in line, we all had plans about exactly how many layers of clothing we were going to need to put on for the concert at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday.
The tour of Independence Hall was interesting, with 85% of the original structure still intact and the opportunity to go upstairs, which apparently isn’t always available. After the tour we crossed the street to the Liberty Bell. At each security checkpoint, we had to open our coats, and Steven fumbled with his buttons. (“Move to the side, sir!”)
I hadn’t been to Philadelphia since I was about 7 and my dad was stationed there. So while I know I’d been to the Liberty Bell as a child, it was still all new to me. I was fascinated to learn that the name Liberty Bell actually came from abolitionists, who held it up as a symbol for their cause. I took a picture of Allen “knocking” on the bell.
After the Liberty Bell, we bid adieu to Philadelphia and started our drive home. Once we were on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, we decided to do an informal survey of inaugural visitors by spotting license plates from all over the country. We saw at least 25 different states represented in that last hour of our drive!
For dinner, we went to Mei’s Asian Bistro, which was nearly empty, and enjoyed the calm before the storm of Inauguration.
August 10, 2008
Technically, I graduated yesterday! I completely forgot until just now, so I thought I’d go online and see if my grade was posted for my last class. (We did not get any feedback in the form of grades on assignments throughout the course of the class, so I was slightly uncertain about my grade.) The grade was posted, and I got an A, so not only do I have my masters, but I got a 4.0 while doing it. (Yay! But though I worked hard, I don’t know that I worked 4.0 hard.) And now I can print off my unofficial transcript and send it on over to my new employer and let them give me a raise before I even start. Hooray!